Gilder Makes Happy Return to Verizon Classic


The Senior PGA Tour continues to move north through Florida this week, into the west coast town of Lutz near Tampa for the Verizon Classic.
Second-year player Bob Gilder couldnt be happier.
Gilder took his first win on the 50-and-older circuit last year at this venue, when he shot a final round 67 over the TPC of Tampa Bay to win by three shots at 8-under 205.
It was the Oregonians first win since the 1983 Phoenix Open on the PGA Tour, and he would soon demonstrate that the victory was not a fluke, collecting 11 other top-10 finishes, winning the Senior Tour Championship and earning Rookie of the Year honors.
Should he repeat this time around, however, hell have to hold off some of the tours strongest names.
Bruce Fleisher and Gil Morgan are set to tee it up in 2002. Along with Ray Floyd and Bobby Walzel, Fleisher and Morgan ended in second to Gilder at last years edition. Along with their presence, Hale Irwin, Allen Doyle, Tom Kite and Dana Quigley are also set to compete.
Also playing this week are tour veterans Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Lee Trevino. Unfortunately, due to back problems, Jack Nicklaus is not scheduled to compete.
The TPC of Tampa Bay is a par-71 layout which plays to 6,783 yards. It has served host to this event since 1992, when the tournament moved from its original home at Tampa Palms Country Club.
To the winner of this years edition goes a first-place check worth $210,000 of a total $1.4 million purse.